Repression (2020) Movie Review

Director: Elbert van Strien

Writer: Ben Hopkins, Elbert van Strien (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Mullan, Thekla Reuten, Rebecca Front, Bill Paterson, Sam Hazeldine, Emun Elliott

Plot: Repression tells the story of a therapist, who loses her grip on reality when a ten-year-old boy claims he can control her future

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Repression starts as a therapist Marianne Winter (Reuten) looks to relocate from New York to a small Scottish town away from her past, taking over the patients of Dr McVittie (Mullan), dealing with children who are in need of therapy.

One of her first patients Manny (Wolf) claims he has abilities and that is why other kids won’t talk to him, while Marianne looks to start her own new life, learning about a new town, new country with new friendships, only Manny might have already got to her as she starts to lose grip of reality.

Thoughts on Repression

Characters – Marianne Winter is looking to start a new life after the death of her husband in New York, she is bringing her therapist skills to a small Scottish town to help children. She is still haunted by the past event, but wants to help the children. She looks to start a new life with new friendships, but soon finds herself needing to investigate one of her patients who might have a more sinister side to him and his problems. Dr McVittie is the man Marianne has replaced, he was respected until the events have left him a broken man with plenty of mystery around him. Manny is the 10-year-old that does seem to have control of events in the world, he sees death before it happens, with his nature being sinister about whether he can make the events happen too. We get to see the fellow professionals that welcome and try to guide Marianne away from certain parts of Manny’s past, a new love interest in Kieran, as well as the flashbacks with Josh, Marianne’s husband that haunts her dreams.

PerformancesThekla Reuten in the leading role is strong through the film, showing us the pain her character has been through, as well hope of something more in the future. When we look at the supporting cast, we get a strong set of performances from the newly disgraced therapist Peter Mullan, the creepy kid Elijah Wolf, the supportive partners and authority figures.

StoryThe story here follows a widowed therapist that is looking to start a new life in a new country that soon starts to see herself losing sense of reality after spending time with one of her new patients. This story does put forward plenty of questions, ones that will lead to different direction the story will go in, while it might start off in a routine way, one which you would see a new life start, we do end up going in a very different direction, one you wouldn’t even imagine it going in, one that will leave you surprised, however this does seem to take away from much of the previous stages of the film, taking the importance of earlier plot points.

MysteryThe mystery in the film comes thick and fast, with it all being about Manny and just what is the reality about him truly is.

SettingsThe film uses the Scottish town setting to show us just how a new life for Marianne is happening, it is murky compared to her old life, reflecting the pain she has been suffering.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – While learning the truth is brilliant, it does make certain parts unrequired in the story.

Final Thoughts This is a very interesting movie, it is one that is filled with deeper questions, with plenty of different directions happening, containing strong performances throughout.

Signature Entertainment presents Repression on Digital HD 28th September

Hold the Dark (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jeremy Saulnier

Writer: Macon Blair (Screenplay) William Giraldi (Novel)

Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgard, Riley Keough, James Badge Dale

Plot: After the deaths of three children suspected to be killed by wolves, writer Russell Core is hired by the mother of a missing six-year-old boy to track down and locate her son in the Alaskan wilderness.

Runtime: 2 Hour 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Messy and Confusing

Story: Hold the Dark starts when a young boy becomes the latest victim of the wolves surrounding an Alaskan town, his mother Medora (Keough) writes to a hunter an author Russell Core (Wright) in hope that he will come and destroy the wolf that took her child.

When Russell heads out into the darkness that covers Alaska, he sees the wolfpack and believes he sees another child taken by the wolves, leaving him to deal with the police who were waiting for any suspect to fall into their laps and after Vernon (Skarsgard) returns from Iraq, he looks to get revenge on the wolves that took his son, only there is a biggest conspiracy being covered up here.

Thoughts on Hold the Dark

Characters – Russell Core is an author and wolf expert that gets called to help hunt down the wolf which has been killing the children of the local area, only to discover a much bigger problem going on in the town. Vernon is the solider that has returned from war to find his son dead, he wants to work getting revenge on the responsible one. Medora is the woman that calls in for the help, while we also meet cops that are looking to get to the bottom of the killings.

PerformancesThis is a film where you don’t want to say anything bad about the performances, because it is more of how the movie is made that makes anything bad, Jeffrey Wright does make his character feel distant, while Alexander Skarsgard does show the grief, otherwise nobody gets to do anything more.

StoryThe story here follows an author that is called to look into a string of deaths involving children and wolves and soon finds himself in the middle of something much deadlier. Well I think this was the story, it isn’t shot very well to show the story unfolding, it seems like there is a lot more going on, but it didn’t give us enough information, looking to create a more shock filled moment with plenty of blood over creating an idea to what is going on.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does come from seeing how people are reacting to losing their children, which shows the panic, only for the mystery to try and take over, without giving us enough to work on as an audience member.

SettingsAlaska should be a wonderful setting, it does show the darkness that would be felt there at certain times of the year, but doesn’t take us into the environment enough.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the injuries the people suffer, with the shootout being the one scene with the most going on within it.


Scene of the Movie – Shootout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Hard to follow.

Final Thoughts This is a disappointing outing from a director that has usually done wonderful things, it is slow, confusing and messy to keep up with.

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Every Secret Thing (2014) Movie Review

Director: Amy Berg

Writer: Nicole Holofcener (Screenplay) Laura Lippman (Novel)

Starring: Diane Lane, Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning, Nate Parker, Common

Plot: A detective looks to unravel a mystery surrounding missing children and the prime suspects: two young women who, seven years ago, were put away for an infant’s death.


Tagline – Don’t look away for even a second.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Mystery Thriller

Story: Every Secret Thing starts when Alice and Ronnie a young girls kill a baby, now they are 18-years-old Alice (Macdonald) is living back with her teacher mother Helen (Lane) who is trying to help get her back into society, while Ronnie (Fanning) gets back into work. When another toddler goes missing Nancy Porter (Banks) and Kevin Jones (Parker) a leading the investigation.

As the disappearance starts becoming lengthy, the detectives turn to Alice and Ronnie for answers, believing they might have an answer, which leads to a look into the past event which left the girls in juvenile hall, will the past unlock the truth and save the missing child?

Thoughts on Every Secret Thing

Characters – Alice is one of two girls that was sent away for a baby’s death, she has always been an outside and social awkward child, now 18, she wants to be part of the world, only she finds herself being lonely, distant from her mother and still in belief that she wasn’t involved with original death. Ronnie is the other girl that was sent away, she does seem like somebody that would get in trouble more and takes the baby, she has put her life back in order, while still coming off shady and broken. Helen is Alice’s mother, she is a teacher that has always wanted to help young people develop, but she struggles to get through to her own daughter. Nancy Porter is leading the investigation, she was the detective that discovered the baby and now she wants to learn more about the truth, trying to uncover the years of damage both the girls have and is in a race against time to not find another dead child.

PerformancesDanielle Macdonald gives a star making performance in this leading role, we see such a range in her performance it will leave you mesmerised by her performance. Dakota Fanning is great too, we see how conflicted her character is with the events of the film, while Diane Lane, brings the distant mother to life with ease. Elizabeth Banks is wonderful too, giving us a performance that showed how determined she is get the case closed.

StoryThe story here follows two detectives that must find a missing child, with the two teenage girls who recently got released from juvenile hall becoming the prime suspects as they were locked up for killing a baby. This story shows us plenty, while keeping the truth from us for so long, the story does give us plenty of hints to the truth and by re-watching you will pick up on all of them. We do get to see how mistakes of the past can do two things, break people with guilt or make them embrace their problems becoming a threat to the world. We are left guessing to what the truth will be which is extremely great to see in any crime mystery and everything is played into stories from the past and how people remember them.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of this film is the investigation to the missing child, we see how the clues are uncovered which only dives further into the mystery of the story.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town, which was rocked by the first crime and one that will come together to try and solve the new crime.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We get a strange first introduction to detective Jones, only for it to mean nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a thriller that will keep you guessing, it has plenty of clues in the story that will give you the truth to everything that is happening in the film.

Overall: Must watch crime mystery.

Death on the Nile (1978) Movie Review

Director: John Guillermin

Writer: Anthony Schaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Ustinov, Jane Birkin, Lois Chiles, Bette Davis, Mia Farrow, Jon Finch, Olivia Hussey, George Kennedy, Angela Lansbury, Maggie Smith

Plot: As Hercule Poirot enjoys a luxurious cruise down the Nile, a newlywed heiress is found murdered on board. Can Poirot identify the killer before the ship reaches the end of its journey?


Tagline – The only thing that could follow “Murder” is “Death”

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Murder Mystery 101

Story: Death on the Nile starts when heiress Linnet Ridgeway Doyle (Chiles) marries Simon Doyle (MacCorkindale) and go on their honeymoon in Egypt, where many of the important people in her life are, with Jackie (Farrow) the ex-fiancée of Simon’s, famous author Salome Otterbourne (Lansbury) and her daughter Rosalie (Hussey), along with famous detective Hercule Poirot (Ustinov), Mrs Can Schuyler (Davis) and her carer Miss Bowers (Smith), Colonel Race (Niven), Mr Ferguson (Finch) and Andrew Pennington (Kennedy) complete the people in attendance.

As the guests head down the river for the cruise, they find themselves being the only people away from the main land, until Linnet is murdered, with Hercule needing to put the pieces together to solve the mystery of who was behind the murder.

Thoughts on Death on the Nile

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous detective that just so happens to be the river cruise when a murder happens, he must work with the clues to try and solve the crime before everyone leaves the cruise ship. He does think outside the box when it comes to figuring out the suspects. Linnet is the heiress that has just got married after stealing her husband off one of her better friends, she is the one that gets murdered, with everyone on board having a reason for wanting her dead. Mrs Van Schuyler is always after extra money in her life, she has always eyed pearls anyone else owned. Jackie the jilted ex, that is still unhappy with the fact that Linnet stole her fiancée, bringing the gun on board in the first place. Salome Otterbourne is a famous author that is always looking down on people, she bosses her daughter around. We have more suspects, each one could have motivation for killing Linnet, each has their own story for being on the cruise.

PerformancesWe have an amazing cast here, each one shines through the film, with Peter Ustinov bringing the detective to life, while each person brings their society figure to life.

StoryThe story here follows Hercule Poirot as he looks to solve a murder on a river cruise of an heiress, he has plenty of suspects to question, all with motivation for killing the victim. As in most Agatha Christie novels, we get Poirot needing to try and solve a crime with a long list of suspects, one that will keep you guessing along the way. We do have to deal with plenty of rich society people here which are all very self-centred along the way, which will make us believe the people could well have been involved with what happened. It is a little bit long though, as it takes nearly an hour before the murder takes place.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that happens, with plenty of mystery about who was behind it, one that does keep us guessing.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film on the river cruise, it shows that the suspects could only be the people on the cruise, much like Murder on the Orient Express.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too long.

Final Thoughts This is a nice entertaining murder mystery that will keep us guessing along the way, with an excellent cast involved.

Overall: Entertaining Murder Mystery.

Inheritance (2020) Movie Review

Director: Vaughn Stein

Writer: Matthew Kennedy (Screenplay)

Starring: Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chance Crawford, Patrick Warburton, Marque Richardson

Plot: A patriarch of a wealthy and powerful family suddenly passes away, leaving his daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy the family.


Tagline – Some Secrets Should Stay Buried.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Steady Thriller

Story: Inheritance starts with the tragic news of Archer Monroe’s (Warburton) death, seeing his children district attorney Lauren (Collins) and favourite child William (Crawford) being left large sums of money, with Lauren receive an extra gift Morgan Warner (Pegg) locked away on the grounds.

Lauren decides to investigate the truth about Morgan, learning the deeper darker secrets of her father, the ones that could destroy the family and her father’s legacy.

Thoughts on Inheritance

Characters – Lauren Monroe is the district attorney, she took this role against her father’s wishes, she is married with her own family given her share of an inheritance, $1million and a key to a room, a room that will turn her life upside down, she must deal with the reality of her father’s secret life and the decision on whether to let the stranger locked up free. Morgan Warner is the man that is locked up, held captive for years by Archer, left to Lauren, he has secrets that will shatter everything about Lauren’s life and her ideas of her father, he wants his freedom and needs to convince Lauren that he has never done anything wrong. Catherine is the wife of Archer, unaware of what he has been up to in life, while William is Lauren’s brother who did get a larger portion of the inheritance.

PerformancesLily Collins in the leading role is strong, she brings us an attorney we could believe, who shows the conflict of what to do. Simon Pegg is the highlight of the film, bringing to life the mysterious figure who is filled with stories. The rest of the cast don’t get as much time to make an impact in the story.

StoryThe story here follows a district attorney that inherits something very strange, a man locked in the family bunker, a man that has secrets about the family, ones her father has kept secrets for years, left in a position on whether to let the man go or not. This is a story that is about deciding whether to do the right thing or not, it shows how somebody could bring destruction to a life, with truths and secrets can always ruining a reputation. We might well have a slower pace in the opening half of the film, but things do boil up over time with an intense conclusion.

MysteryThe mystery in this film is all around what could be happening, who Morgan really is and why has he been held for so long, it does keep us wanting to know more about him.

SettingsThe film uses the captive bunker as a major setting, the most important conversations happen here, with everything outside this location, not giving us enough to get behind.


Scene of the Movie – The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The case Lauren is working on it implied it will be important, but it seems to get forgotten through the film.

Final Thoughts This is a nice mystery that does keep you guessing, carried by Simon Pegg’s turn in a role you wouldn’t normally see him in.

Overall: Mystery 101

Signature Entertainment presents Inheritance on Digital HD July 6th & DVD 13th July